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Tag Archives: James Breen

UNESCO designation for Cliffs and Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been designated as a UNESCO site following a vote at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris today (Tuesday). The Burren and Cliffs of Moher is now one of 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks across the world. The designation means that the Clare County Council managed Geopark, along with Ireland’s two other Geoparks, the Copper Coast Geopark and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, is now a UNESCO Global Geopark and is now at the same level as other UNESCO designated sites such as Newgrange and the Giant’s Causeway. Reflecting on the announcement, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “As a Geopark, the Burren is very much part of a global community that shares knowledge and expertise on heritage management and sustainable development, leading to well-managed protected landscapes with preserved local heritage. This approach, combined with a good working relationship with communities throughout the Burren has …

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Lighthouse shines as a tourist attraction

Loop Head lighthouse has consolidated its position as one of West Clare’s best tourist attractions. Figures for the period April 3 to August 31 show that 23,000 people visited the lighthouse, a 13% increase on the entire figure for 2014. This is the historic landmark’s fifth year of operation. 47.5% of the total visitor figure up to Sunday, August 30, is represented by Irish visitors, with Germany, North America, UK, France and Italy collectively accounting for 42.2% of the overall figure. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. For the first time ,meanwhile, the attraction will be opened to the public during weekends in October. Councillor James Breen, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “The 19th century West Clare landmark is certainly benefiting from its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and as one …

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US politicians visit Cliffs

US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley; Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, James Breen and John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives at the Cliffs of Moher. A delegation from the US House of Representatives visited the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience on July 4, US Independence Day. The delegation was led by John Boehner, Speaker of the House and was welcomed to the Cliffs by Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen. As Speaker of the House, Boehner follows the Vice President in line to the Presidency of the United States in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act. The visiting party included Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). They were accompanied by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley.

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Councillor James Breen

James Breen becomes Clare’s first citizen

Former Independent Deputy James Breen has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council . Councillor Breen, who was elected without any vote pledged “action and real leadership” as first citizen to drive economic development in the county at the authority’s annual general meeting on Friday. “When I was elected a Dáil Deputy I remember saying that politically this wouldn’t be surpassed until today. “I am proud to be the first man from Kilnamona to be elected as chairman of Clare County Council. “I can think of no greater honour than to represent Clare people as cathaoirleach. When I look around the council chamber at former chairmen, it gives me a great sense of pride to be included amongst them,” he said. Councillor Mary Howard was also elected to the position of deputy cathaoirleach without an election. Interestingly, the Fine Gael Councillor was also elected as deputy Mayor of Ennis at the annual general meeting of the Ennis …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Elderly woman’s 57-hour trolley ordeal

AS nurses in the Mid-West prepare to ballot for industrial action in the new year, an Ennis councillor has hit out at the HSE over plans to move patients from the overcrowded emergency department at the flagship hospital in Limerick, to ‘clinical assessment’ rooms at the downgraded University Hospital Ennis. Also, an Ennis man, whose 87-year-old mother was sent into University Hospital Limerick (UHL) to have a ‘racing-heart’ condition calmed down, has spoken of his horror at the conditions that she endured while she spent more than 57 hours on a trolley and a chair in a hallway and the “living hell” of patients and staff in the corridors of the hospital. “We went to our local GP last Tuesday and they were worried about her heart, which was racing, so they sent her into Limerick to maybe get them to slow it down with a beta blocker and calm it a bit,” he said. “We arrived at the emergency …

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Cut to property tax shelved on legal advice

Clare Fianna Fáil councillors are up in arms over the distribution of the Local Property Tax (LPT), following claims that €5.6 million will be used to “bail out” other “inefficient” local authorities. Councillors have criticised the transfer of over €2m from Clare County Council’s 2015 LPT allocation of €10.406m to the national equalisation fund, which, in turn, will be distributed to local authorities who don’t have a high yield from this tax. The council was urged by Councillor Cathal Crowe to consider taking a legal challenge against the proposed redistribution of another €3.597m, to self-fund local housing and roads services, at a meeting this week. Councillor Crowe felt it was important the council took a stand if the Government continue to implement its proposed “unfair distribution”, which he claimed penalises the council for being “the best in the class”, while other authorities had adopted a more “casual approach”. The political row over where the proceeds of the LPT will be …

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Councillor James Breen

Breen takes up mother’s call to combat racism

AN Ennis mother whose adopted son was racially abused at a local sports complex has appealed to her local representative to raise the matter at next Tuesday’s Council meeting. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect the identity of her two ‘dark-skinned’ adopted children, has written to Councillor James Breen and asked him to raise the matter at the Council meeting. She told Councillor Breen that since they adopted their eldest son in 1995, and their second son in 1998, “I have noticed a substantial increase in racism and racist assaults perpetrated on my sons, this has been both physical and verbal in nature and is not confined to any one aspect of life but is to be encountered on a daily basis from people of all ages and social class.” She said she was particularly concerned when, before the summer, her 15-year-old son, who plays all sports extremely well, was verbally abused three times over one weekend. …

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A one-job county

ENTERPRISE Ireland figures for 2013 show that the Mid-West was the agency’s worst performing region and client companies delivered a net gain of just one additional job in the Banner County. While much has been made of Ireland’s prospering export sector, the figures show the benefits are not being seen in Clare to the extent they are in some other parts of the country. County Councillor James Breen has reacted by claiming Clare is becoming a “poor relation” in terms of jobs and that the county’s Oireachtas members are not delivering. Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It published its annual report and accounts on Thursday of last week, which showed 2013 results as the best performance in over a decade in terms of net job creation. The report showed a net increase in full-time employment of 3,620 across its six regions. While each one showed some level …

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